How Much do Pro Golfers Make Per Tournament?

If you have ever dreamt of being a golfer for a living, you probably have wondered how much does a golfer get paid each week?  I’m here to tell you that the answer can vary quite drastically, and I’ll also go over the obvious pro’s and not so obvious con’s of having a career in professional golf.

How Much Do PGA Golfers Earn Each Year?

That answer is simple:  it’s based on performance and sponsorship earnings.

For the sake of simplicity, let’s push sponsor money aside because it only complicates the equation, and many golfers who have been around for a while have a certain following and brand that earns them money no matter how they perform.  John Daly has earned a huge net worth thanks to sponsorship money, as has Phil Mickelson himself, but let’s not forget about all of the success on the course!

golf earnings

The United States alone has an estimated 26 million golfers that simply go out and pay to play without earning a paycheck.  For the ones that are lucky enough to have turned pro, they can earn salaries that start at a base and benefits, all the way to bonuses for club pros, and of course, the jackpot of them all, millions of dollars for winning a major golf tournament.

Let’s start at the club pro level, and work our way towards the filthy rich!

Club Pro Golfer Compensation

Each owner and operator of a golf course has a club pro, and this is a PGA professional that manages the entire operation.  They largely receive their money via a salary but can also earn money from operating golf clinics and doing instruction in either one on one or group format.  The latest reported numbers have the 2010 median compensation package for this type of position sitting around $70,000, with the high end reaching $90,000 and the lower end being around $55,000.  The money will be on the lower end of the spectrum if you are in a teaching position, and one who simply gives lessons can earn between $30,000 and $55,000 annually.  The greater the focus on the courses instructional program, the greater the compensation.

Professional Golf Tour Player Compensation

Each tournament play has what is called a “purse.” This is essentially a prize pool that is divided up among the people who place in the tournament.  Every tournament has a different structure, but the champion will get the lion’s share of the purse, and often times the prizes are paid down to 60 or so entrants.  Tiger Woods earnings are the highest in the history of the PGA Tour.

golf earnings

Do Golfers Get Paid if They Miss the Cut?

According to GolfNewsNet, most of the time players who miss the cut do not get paid.  This goes for the vast majority of PGA Tour events.  If you don’t make it past the cut after 36 holes, you continue on the tour and go to the next destination and continue playing without collecting a paycheck.  This is harsh reality for many players, as they have to pay all their expenses traveling to and from the destination, which can often times be on the other side of the country, causing them to stay in expensive hotels and travel with their family, caddie, and anyone else rooting for them.

Some exceptions reported do include the Masters, which reportedly paid players who missed the cut $10,000 in 2017.  The U.S. Open was also said to do this as well.

It was also said that at the British Open Championship paid players who missed the cut on a sliding scale.  The top of the cut list, the first 10, that is, including anyone who tied, earned $7,200.  The next 20 as well as ties were paid $5,750.  After that, the remaining golfers earned $4,850.

Who are the Highest Paid Golfers?

Well, as you can assume, Tiger and Phil are the ones who make the most money when it’s all said and done.  Both of them have incredible track records winning on the course, and both have incredible brands that make sponsors want to flock to them and shell out millions for them to show up on their apparel.

If you are looking for a career in golf, keep in mind how much money PGA golfers make, and give it your best effort to focus on the game long term.  There are millions of dollars at stake and they could be yours!